Saturday, November 14, 2009

Getting ready to leave for MI

How do you know what to pack for a trip? When is the right time to leave clients when you own your own business? How often do you see family?

I know some of these questions seem puerile, but you need to answer them if you are in business for yourself. In the last three years, I have traveled to be with my mother during a hospitalization, my grandmother after a massive stroke and then eventual funeral and my father's prostate surgery and recovery. Combined, these trips were more than a month out of my life. I am of course VERY thankful that I have the kind of life where I can just leave as needed. There are some simple rules of thumb I use about travel in my professional life:

1. Family come first. Period. You only have one family and when they need you, you go. No one on their death bed ever said, "gee, I wish I worked more."

2. When possible, schedule time where your absence actually reduces the expense to the client, or can be offset by other factors for the client (a less busy time, etc. . .)

3. Provide advanced notice and ensure your absence can be adjusted to.

4. Use time away to reflect in a relaxed way on issues in your professional life and to brainstorm some solutions for your clients.

Anyway, I am excited about a trip to see my Dad and family in MI. May be cold, but should be fun! It is always good to see the latest in the vineyard and tasting room.

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